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The Cycle

News/Business. Politics, the economy, media, sports and any other issues that grab people's attention. New.

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Romney 9, Colorado 8, Virginia 7, America 6, Florida 6, Nevada 5, Nate 5, Us 5, Canada 3, Wisconsin 3, Obama 3, Wyoming 3, Mccain 3, Steve 3, California 3, Victoria 3, Richard Mourdock 2, Kevin Dutton 2, Mourdock 2, Ohio 2,
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  MSNBC    The Cycle    News/Business. Politics, the economy, media, sports  
   and any other issues that grab people's attention. New.  

    October 24, 2012
    12:00 - 1:00pm PDT  

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two aleve can keep pain away all day. back to the news. battleground blitz. good afternoon, i'm steve. the presidential candidates are crisscrossing the country today. two campaigns, five states, eight events in 39 critical electoral votes up for grabs. mitt romney is making one of his appearances right now in reno gambling on a state that put all the chips on barack obama last time around. mo cocco is in the house. why are we telling nuns they can't vote? dysfunction is bigger than elections. it's what washington elected not to do that costs families next year. are they right this time? all that plus the electoral college. what's up with that?
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t-minus 13 days and the candidates in a fight to the fin initial in the state that is matter most. the president racking up the miles on air force one hitting seven states in two days. >> this is the first stop on our 48-hour fly around campaign marathon extravaganza. we're going to pull an all-nighter. no sleep. we're starting here in iowa. we're going to colorado. then we're going to go to nevada. then we're going to florida, virginia, ohio. i am going to stop in chicago to vote. >> and right now, mitt romney is speaking in nevada. he and paul ryan focusing there hoping to sweet the spot of 270 electoral votes. ohio is the key to that math with 18 votes on its own. more money has been spent on ads
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in the buckeye state than any other. $177 million worth so far. did it help anyone? they're polling neck and neck there as they are nationwide in the real clear politics poll average and look at the ""the washington post""/abc news poll. i think that's one person. that's about as close as you can get in one of those polls. we start now with mark blumenthal at huffington post and a polling expert. let's start with ohio. there are scenarios for both of the candidates to win this election without ohio but it is the closest thing there is to a must win state i'd say for both candidates. what is your best sense right now of where the race stands in ohio and why is it where it is? >> well, our estimate which is based on all of the public polls as run through a model we have on the huff post election dashboard has pretty consistently had obama with a two, 2.5-point lead in ohio over
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the last 2 weeks, even after the debate movement. and, you know, that's about in polling averages anything above that and you typically win. if that holds. he's in pretty good shape there. >> so if he's in good shape there, there's a good wchance t win the election and then the popular vote split and mitt romney maybe gets more popular votes overall but barack obama has a clear edge and wins the electoral college. how likely do you think that scenario is? >> i think it's possible to get a split but the imaginations have kind of run away with ourselves of how wide that is. we have looked at how the battleground state estimates add up to a vote total. i have done an estimate based on how many people voted in each state in 2008. if you look across the nine battlegrounds that most of us are focused on and the campaigns spending money, the difference, obama's a little bit ahead but
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the difference between that and the national vote is less than 1% overall. we lose sight of the fact that most -- half the votes in the battleground states in florida, virginia and north carolina and a little bit of an advantage working obama's way. that could give him the election if, if, if those polling leads hold. >> mark, obama recently had an off the record discussion with "the des moines register" and some of that leaked out to the rest of us. but one thing he said that was really interesting is that latinos -- should i win a big reason will be because the republican nominee and party have so alienated the fastest-growing demographic group in the country the latino community. if the turnout is over 9%, obama should win the lead among them is massive. do you think that turnout will be the thing to make the
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difference in nevada, colorado, florida, perhaps virginia, those competitive states with growing latino populations? >> if obama wins colorado and virginia you have to attribute it in part to that margin. when's sort of interesting, that's difficult to measure well and not all pollsters using spanish-speaking interviews and the rest but the nbc news/"wall street journal" poll i believe gave president obama 70% and the same as the decisions poll of the last week. that's actually slightly higher than percentage than the exit poll four years ago and equals the margin of four years ago, that's something different from everybody else except probably african-american voters where the numbers have gone down so i think that's right. >> mark, in a way, governor romney is sort of defying gravity if you look how unpopular the republican party is as a whole. their favorable/unfavorable
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ratings have them under water, the generic sort of republican party 36% view them as favorable, 4 3% unfavorable in contrast to democrats. is that sort of defying gravity that mitt romney is doing and not being tied down to his party, is that sustainable through the rest of this election? >> i think it may be. in some ways, he was also defying gravity in the other direction in that there are a lot of voters who were sort of on the fence but unhappy with president obama's performance. and there was sort of an initial lead in some of these polls in september that didn't sort of fit so i think he's close to kind of an equilibrium between those two. >> mark, a lot is made of obama's gender gap and winning the women's vote and shrunk over the past few weeks and considerably up among women but less is made of romney's gain among men up ten points to obama among men.
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just looking along gender lines, how important is that going to be in determining who wins in 13 days? >> i mean, i think it -- i think you're referring the gallup numbers out this morning. you know, he's down among nonwhite voters -- i'm sorry. among white voters, among both men and women since 2008 and it's the bigger an i agree gath trend that i think matters more than the gender gap. clearly, the obama campaign's put great emphasis thematically to appealing to women on the issues in the ads and you see him repeating on the stump and that has been part of i think their effort to hold back against the unfavorable economic numbers that might have hurt them more. >> all right. mark, huff post pollster, all around numbers guru, thank you for checking in. we appreciate it. >> thanks for having me. >> guys, i want to pick up i guess on the last point of the
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gender gap. it's been a staple of presidential elections to one degree or another since 1980, they turned on the equal rights amendment and socially conservative party since then. i'm thinking of a specific event that's in the news today and richard mourdock, conservative senate candidate in indiana with a debate last night talked about opposing the rape exception in abortions because he says unfortunately if a woman is raped that's god's will with a pregnancy through a rape and hi said people saying the words the wrong way. i don't see that but looking and seeing todd akin in missouri. mourdock last night in indiana. the's a whole battle of contraception this year and reproductive issues have been in the news to a much greater degree in this campaign than before. i wonder if this piece of news coming after all of that maybe sort of cements the gender gap that obama's benefiting from right now or an opportunity and really we're talking about it, any kind of movement here to
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swing the election. is this the kind of thing to get an extra point with women? >> yeah. it's not what the romney campaign wanted to be talking about this week. they were forced to issue a statement distancing themselves from murdoch and pointed out that mitt romney cut an ad for one senate candidate richard mourdock. >> and not asked for it to be pulled. >> exactly. it does remind voters of todd akin, of how to the right, how uncomfortable they are with the republican party on these issues and i think it does to your point sort of cement the gender gap that does exist and benefits the president. >> 80% of the country is not with the republicans on this no abortion in any way situation so you get a position or difficult to explain position when their pro-life position is religious infused i think mostly but they're trying to have the exceptions is politically inspired so how do you live with both of those things and when
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you get inarticulate people who believe sort of strange things, mourdock and akin trying to put god and weird examples of biology in to the situation, it's very difficult to explain why you're anti-choice except in these situations. is it life even though it's rape? >> god, putting god in to the process of having a child is not weird. and is not something that most of the country recoils at. they recoil at comments by people like akin and mourdock who seem oblivious to the way that biology actually works in akin's case and for mourdock, you know -- >> callous i would say. >> saying that rape is a gift of god is an inartful way of saying that life has value and plenty of people who think that abortion should never be an acceptable response. mitt romney is not one of them. mitt romney is a person who has said i do believe in exceptions
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for rape and the health of the mother. so, i think that these two cases certainly democrats made a lot of hay out of the akin and very successful for them politically. i can see them trying to do the same with mourdock. it will be very successful and i think steve to your point that you're right that it will sort of cement the narrative that obama is the woman kand date, the candidate for women. and mitt romney is the candidate for men. >> and certainly in terms of control of the senate, one more example where extremism has cost republicans a seat that they should have got. >> i should just point out. 10 million more women voters than men. 54% of the electorate. leading among men is not leading among women. >> i think there's agreement of both sides and heard people of both sides of a tug of a very specific demographic. married mothers who they think are the difference in colorado or ohio and torn because they
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have really this demographic, married mothers, have serious concerns of obama and the economy and a lot of given up on obama and the economy and they don't like where the republican party is and it's a tug of war. which of those impulses is stronger and we'll see how it affects it if at all. we have two weeks to see. up next from the white house to the capitol for a moment. billions of your dollars on the line right now but let's walk up to the fiscal cliff and go over it. we can stop calling ate fiscal cliff, too. i'll explain why in the spin as we roll on for wednesday, the 24th of october. rogaine? well, i'll admit it. i was skeptical at first. but after awhile even my girlfriend noticed a difference. [ male announcer ] rogaine is proven to help stop hair loss. and for 85% of guys, it regrew hair. save up to 42% now at rogaine.com.
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can you spare an extra five grand next year because that's how much more a family with two working adults forced to shell out if congress doesn't act. no, not the full expiration of bush tax cuts and could cost you additional six grand. additional five grand i'm talking about that you would be forking over comes from the payroll tax holiday that congress may be comfortable with letting run out. but with the economy still slow, some on the hill suggesting we should rethink this. this tax holiday never supposed to be a permanent thing and congress had to juggle money around so the social security trust fund doesn't take it a hit and this would also add to the deficit. but is now the right time to be asking families to pay more? we're going to take that through the spin cycle and talking about the so-called fiscal cliff which includes the expiration of the bush tax cuts and the expiration of the payroll tax cuts and the
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sequestration cuts which include defense, also discretionary spending and medicare. so, that's what people are talking about. and essentially everyone agrees that two things will happen if we go over the fiscal cliff and stay there. one, we will close the deficit by a significant amount and two we will have a significant slowdown in economic growth. everybody pretty much agrees about that. but the thing that bothers me is when republicans rail against and complain about the fiscal cliff. they're in many ways undermining what they argue about their own economic policy. republicans saying that the deficit and debt number one problem and they're what's holding back growth. great. if we go over the fiscal cliff we'll massively cut the deficit and seems like something republicans should be in favor of and the other thing that bothers me here and the hypocrisy particularly great on the defense cuts side of the ledger because if essentially what republicans are arguing for
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here is government stimulus to create jobs it just happens that they're defense jobs rather than teachers or firefighters. i think joe biden did a good job of calling out paul ryan on a similar type of hypocrisy during the debate. a >> and i love my friend here. he sent me two letters saying, by the way, can you send me stimulus money for companies here in the state of wisconsin? we sent millions of dollars. you know why he said -- >> you did ask for stimulus money, correct? >> on two occasions we advocated for constituents applying for grants. that's what we do. >> i love that. i love this. this is such a bad program and writes the department of energy saying the reason we need the stimulus to create growth and jobs. his words. >> so look. the point here is that it seems like for republicans cuts and deficits, deficit cutting is all
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well and good until it hits your constituents and district. >> i think, i mean, creating jobs is one part and then saving some jobs and a part of the story that doesn't get enough attention is this warren act issue. if you're not familiar with the warren act requires employees like lockheed for 60 days notice that the employees may be laid off and let go and it's an act that the president has before supported and, in fak, asked to have it lengthened to 90 days a couple of years ago. there's 200 jobs, 200,000 jobs at stake in virginia alone over these defense cuts and because those warning letters would go out on november 2nd, four days before the election, very inconvenient, the omb has decided they're not going to enforce the warren act anymore. so these companies don't have to send out the letters. and to boot, if their employees sue them, the omb will cover the
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expenses. seems incredibly shameful that this president and the administration is obviously protecting their own jobs and worried more about their jobs than these 200,000 people whose jobs are clearly on the line. >> i have used it but i hate the term fiscal cliff. that is sham. >> what do you prefer to call it? >> part of the reason is i have not come up with an alternative yet. the's so much hysteria. i'm not sure everybody understands what we're talking about here but the idea of a fiscal cliff suggests there's a buy their thing and then walking along and then fall off. that's not what happens. >> is it more of a hill? >> there's a gradual slope. >> okay. >> getting from december 31st to january 1st, a few things will happen. the automatic defense cuts will trigger. all of the bush tax cuts of 2001 we have lived with for 11 years go away overnight. everybody doesn't get a bill the next day and cough up a couple
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thousand dollars to the treasury. there's plenty of time, weeks, months, a lot of wriggle room there for a deal or for a compromise to be reached. the pressure coming from sources to get it resolved but one of the places where the pressure's coming from and hearing it from republicans who now for 22 years it's been 22 years since a single republican in the senate or in the house voted for any kind of income tax hike. the party is committed to holding up that pledge and you have seen these here, the democrats put the offer on the table. extending it for 98% of americans and let it go and republicans say no. the whole idea of a grand bargain fell apart because republicans would not put revenue on the table. they won't do it. if you're barack obama and democrats and you say we have to deal with the deficit and sick of dealing with the party that will not put taxes for the wealthy as part of the deal on the table, yeah, get to january 1st and let's let the tax rates go up for everybody so it's a tax cut. >> fiscal party in.
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>> cut taxes for -- >> that's it. a fiscal party. >> that's the want to do it. >> you know the president won't do it. >> he will. >> and the political pain more on him than congress. >> i don't think so. i don't think so. not this time. >> not running for re-election. >> running on a pledge to undo the taxes. >> the reason why they call it fiscal cliff because the fear and intensity that goes with that leads to what the gop wants in terms of obstruction and a situation to act and the consequences are dire then we can take hostages to shoot the hostage. we don't care. you have to give us blood in order to get what you want which is the country to be able to continue going and talking about the credit rating situation, the jobs bill. they don't care. and this is going to be another key issue when we see how much they're willing to deal with obstruction in the second term and obama rehired continuing with obstruction in this situation? i don't see why they wouldn't.
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>> this is the one time when the leverage is on obama's side and different than the debt ceiling last year. it was a real deadline. going past it and not raised the debt ceiling there's calamity. past this deadline -- >> everyone knew that democrats were not willing to go to the wall on this. >> artificial crisis. no, there is not an instant calamity and you know what? talking about controlling this deficit long term you're going to have to raise the taxes somehow and this is the way to get to a tax hike, you get to january 10th and people talking about the taxes going up this year and president obama, here's my bill to cut taxes for 98% of americans, see republicans block it then. there's more pain on republicans at that point. >> they haven't had to pay the piper for obstructing for four years. why would -- >> there's a leverage now. obama finally has leverage. he doesn't have to blink. >> took it off the table. he said in the debate sequestration will not happen. >> it takes months. he can get around that for weeks or months. the defense cuts don't really happen in the first day.
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none of this actually happens january 1st. he has plenty of -- he has enough leeway as president to get around this. >> he has the upper hand because no action is required for all of the tax cuts to expire. next, breaking news here. steve may have miscalculated something. i know. i know. we're shocked, too. we'll get to the bottom of it with our numbers guy in the nate spot. time for the "your business" entrepreneur of the week. seth works fairs, haunted houses and nightclubs. he hawks from the bone shoppe cart with bones and skulls and other items. he hooks and engages and sells through performance and mirroring temperaments. for more watch "your business" sunday mornings on msnbc. in whaw [ woman ] ring. ring.
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look at the south. obama phobia has gone through the roof in the reddest of the red portion of the country and i think i am wondering if it's artificially inflating romney's national number to make it look closer than it is. >> what was that guy talking about? it was me on the show yesterday. i was stunned by gallup's polling in the south showing mitt romney leading president obama by 22 points. but obama and mccain dead even
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in the same region last time around. focusing on the numbers it would seem to explain the gap between state polling and battleground state polling and national horse race polling but the number cruncher claims the south doesn't explain romney's strength in the national polls and claims it's because president obama is struggling in, wait for it, the liberal northeast. it's time for the nate spot with nate cohen. nate, i'll start by saying you're right. i'm wrong. let's ask you why. i asked another pollster this morning, patrick murray running the monmouth poll to explain this. he breaks the country to blue states, red states, competitive states. look at the difference of obama's standing compared to 2008. it is even in red states. they didn't like him then and now. but the big dropoff, look at that, blue states, places like new york, california, massachusetts, new jersey. he's going to win the states but he's going to win them by reduced margins.
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it sounds credible. why? why is he losing so much ground in places where he's generally popular? >> i think there's a pretty simple formula to use to explain a lot of movement at the state level. in the places where obama won a lot of bush voters, obama has fallen back a lot and state like wisconsin, won by 14. dead heat now. he won indiana by 1% last time even though bush won it 20% and not competitive and true across the north. but in the south obama didn't really pick up white bush voters. instead, all of the gains were among nonwhite voters and changes in the composition of the electoral. those changes last today so in the south obama is holding up pretty well. but with all of these former obama-bush voters in the north and northwestern part of the country he's fallen off a bit more and i think it might be especially acute of democratically-leaning voters not as enthusiastic and republican-leaning independent voters are really enthused and
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ready to vote and driving up the republican tally further. >> okay, nate. i disagree with thesis. i talked to cornell belcher. jim mecino also disagrees. this is from an article of obama saying he doesn't give a whit about national polling in which obama's numbers are dragged down by horrific per forms in the deep south and talking about battleground states and what belcher talked about with me is, obviously, you know, the south is obama's worst region and abc poll has him up and down 16 in the south and what we're talking about is that obama's really bad, horrific polling in the south is those large margins are not equivalent to the ability of the south to control or impact the electoral college. so, what do you think about that? >> well, it's entirely possible that on election day we wake up and see the numbers and the south cost obama the popular
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vote but the data i have says that the south isn't the big driver. look at the number you gave me. it says that romney up 16 points in the south. last time according to the exit polls it was 9-point race in the south and that means that romney gained 7 points in the south compared to mccain and happens to be the same amount that the national polls moved, 7 points. same amount as in some less than some of the mid, northeastern and american states of wisconsin and fallen by more by obama. i think the important thing to remember about the south, though, is that with so many nonwhite voters there, romney would really struggle to gain 15 or 20 points over mccain's performance unless african-american turnout fell and i think that american african turnout generally expected to stay near '80s levels and tough for republicans to generate a much, much better performance in the south than last time and arguably in white areas the best performance by republicans since 1972.
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>> so nate, you are talking about sort of overall demographic shifts in the country, how they have impacted the election. looking further, aren't these continued demographic shifts in invest 2346 and colorado and virginia, aren't they going to significantly move the electorate to the left and in to the democratic column and creating a hard long-term problem for the gop? >> well, it's already moving the electorate in a state like nevada, bush won it in '04. today, might be obama's best swing state. i think that whether it continues over the long term is harder to say. you know? republicans some point make adjustments. i don't know if it's on immigration or what or social issues trying to appeal to white college educated voter s or something but i don't think that over the long term that the republican party is absolutely
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doomed. they could make mistakes and advance the same policies and rerun the '08 and '04 elections over again and not a good time for them. >> nate, what is romney's best path to victory in 13 days? >> i think it's starts by winning north carolina and florida. and then he's got to win virginia and colorado and then he's got to go over the top in ohio but the polls suggest he trails bay narrow margin in ohio and nevada and colorado coin flips for him. he has to make the move in ohio and got to be quick. >> nate, as you pointed out this week, i encourage people to read it, there's sort of a gravity defying in ohio and should be doing worse. but i'll tell everybody to read nate cohn explaining it well. see you next week. >> thanks for having me. straight ahead here, political funny man mo rocco here to tell us about serious electoral dysfunction in america. that's next.
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hi. i'm here to vote. >> all right. need the see your driver's license. >> oh. oh. i don't have it. >> we need a driver's license. >> i voted here 12 times before. >> we still need that driver's license. >> i voted in 1948 here for president. >> still need that driver's license. >> oh, well, all right. let me -- oh. here's a credit card. >> nope. it's not working. >> okay. well then i'll show you my social security card. >> nope. needs to have a picture on it. >> you know that i'm me. i mean, come on. don't you remember? you asked me to the dance. >> no, i don't. >> looking really good for his age. that's an enactment by mo. it's something voters might encounter and the crazy ballot
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design, crazy hours, where to show up. the new documentary electoral dysfunction takes us inside the way too wacky world where the stakes could not be higher. you'd think that we'd want to make voting as easy as possible but we don't for a reason. joining now is victoria basetti. and political humorist mo rocco host of the documentary on pbs through election day. mo and victoria, how are you the. >> great, thank you. >> thanks. >> what did you discover in the journey? >> the most surprising thing and it's from -- it's the point of origin for a lot of problems we have today is that the constitution does not guarantee the right to vote. it is absent from the constitution. there are amendments which bar discrimination on certain basis, of course, like gender and race, but those band-aids over a big
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gaping hole and why it's localized and why it's left to states and 13,000 different voting districts which may have their own ballot design, voting rules and creates a lot of chaos and a lot of latitude for partisan interests to get in there and manipulate in a loosey goosey decentralized i would say chaotic system. >> victoria, it seems to me we should have a singular system that works one way, everybody understands the rules and do it the same way at the same time. i think there are clear reasons why we don't make voting as easy as possible and registration as easy as possible. what are some of the reasons why voting is not easier and registration is not easier? >> well, a lot of states are fond of their voting systems and stretches back to 1787. i don't want to dump on the founding fathers too much but they made compromises drafting the constitution. >> terrible parents.
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>> in therapy for 200 years in consequence. they made a bunch of necessary compromises to get the constitution passed and one of the biggest ones is laws regarding elections are administered by the state. we have gotten pretty comfortable on a state by state basis and most states are loathe to change things. not only that but even though we try to make a significant improvement after the 2000 election, the fact is to radically alter the system might cost a lot of money, cause a lot of disruption and states would be upset but because we're unwilling to take the bigger efforts we have a messy, confusing and sometimes incoherent election system. >> mo, one of the so-called ideosyncracies you look at is ballot design. >> visually, it's so confusing. even we generally at the left and read right, nothing says do that. it's a nightmare. way too much information on
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here. also, the blank spaces are irregular. they don't add up to what you would assimilate the end of something. these columns collide. >> off the top of your head, how could this have been simplified? one line tells us one thing. we get pick one. >> that looks insane. >> i hate to be that person who's always saying, well, in canada -- but in canada they have one ballot and, you know, local control is remanhattanic and wonderful talking about mayberry but not palm beach county in 2000 and that ridiculous ballot which i should point out decided upon by a democrat and then ended up hurting democrats and not like there's malice involved in all of this or the majority of the disorganized chaos we see but there should not be -- ballot design should not be left up to localities. i mean, this is really important stuff and, you know, there could be one ballot across america. that's just one example. >> mo, i saw you when i was down at the rnc.
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i saw you shooting. now i know why. i have seen this piece you did. victoria, a certain clip in it, mo talks about an effort in maryland and other states to do away with the electoral college. could you explain a little bit about that? >> sure. it's called the national popular vote initiative and basically a compact to bind states to committing the electoral college votes to the winner of the national popular vote and not who won the vote in their particular state. once states have -- once enough states who cumulateively have 270 electoral college votes between them sign on to the compact, it goes in to effect. they have about 134 votes in their tally. so they hope by 2016 that they might actually be able to overcome the way that the electoral college works in america. something pretty important as people are looking at or speculating about the effects of the electoral college on this election. >> dvr, rewind and listen to it again. she's of course got it there but
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it's really important to understand this because it would be a huge change. it would render the electoral college moot. do an end run around the constitution. >> well, mo, i'm wondering, you know, though, we have been through -- only 12 years ago of bush and gore. growing up i thought with a situation of a popular vote, electoral college disconnect there's outrage. we might, you know, respect the winner as legitimate but a movement to reform that. do you think there's anything if that happens in two weeks? >> i think the butterfly ballot and irregularities overshadowed the issue in 2000. i think if this time mitt romney wins the popular vote and barack obama wins the electoral college vote both parties will have been excuse my language screwed in 12 years and it will blow up in a fiery ball and republicans will have none of it if that happens. finally, both sides will join
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together perhaps in saying, okay, starting with the next election, this thing should be junked. the three reasons for which it was created are obsolete. and anybody who's listening now going, it protects small states, you know, i mean, you know, why does wyoming need protection of canada? anyone i need -- qume, from california. anyone i know from wyoming can kick the butt of anyone i know from california. they don't need special protection. >> if only screwed twice in 12 years then you're married. thank you so much for being here, mo and victoria. the documentary's on pbs now through ex-day and the book at local bookstores. grab one and figure out the way the process should be and if you can't get enough of mo and who can? also catch him on the new cooking show, my grandmother's ravio ravioli. it sounds tasty. >> tonight on cooking channel, 8:30. it's nonpartisan cooking. i promise. all these grandmothers are undecided voters. tune in and maybe influence them. >> i want a liberal cooking show. thank you. let's go to psychopath, yes,
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we do it all here. why it pays to be an american psychois next. begin.
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how they'll live tomorrow. for more than 116 years, ameriprise financial has worked for their clients' futures. helping millions of americans retire on their terms. when they want. where they want. doing what they want. ameriprise. the strength of a leader in retirement planning. the heart of 10,000 advisors working with you one-to-one. together for your future. ♪ how's this far thesis? psychopaths respect that different from you and me and we fall somewhere along the spectrum of psychopathy. the very list of traits that mark psychopathic behavior are probably ones you aspire to.
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coolness under pressure. fearlessness. focus. charm. maybe your boss is a total psycho. joining now is research psychologist and author of the wisdom of psychopaths, kevin dutton. kevin, what is a functional psychopath and is it possible that i am one? >> a functional psychopath is basically someone who has psychopathic traits such as fearlessness, ruthlessness -- >> yes. >> mental toughness. >> yes. >> coolness under pressure. >> yes. >> a lack of conscience -- >> totally, totally. >> we getting near the mark there? >> yes, yes. >> okay. >> yes. >> but also -- >> me to a tee. >> but also someone that's low in impulsivity. okay? if you have the impulsivity dial turned up to max that's going to tip you over the edge in to an
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unsuccessful or perhaps a criminal psychopath but if you have those characteristics that i just mentioned you're not impulsive, but also, you're not necessarily violent but also you're relatively intelligent, then you're going to be in a situation where the reuters headline once famously put it, you're likely going to make a killing in the market than anywhere else. >> so as you say and as we teased there, you say that society really rewards psychopathic traits and behavior. i mean the key to success in, you know, 21st century america is to be fearless and to have confidence and to be charming. so tell us how those traits can actually end up being a bad thing for you. >> well, they can end up being a bad thing if you as i say if you're also, let's say you're naturally violent, and you're also pretty low in intelligence, okay. now if you've got those -- i'm not talking personally of course
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you understand. >> sure. >> if you've got those characteristics and you're naturally violent and low intelligence, then to be perfectly honest your prospects aren't exactly good. you're going to end up putting a bottle over someone's head in a bar, you're going to be locked up in prison for 30 years, a low level thug or in a criminal gang. if you have those characteristics and you are naturally intelligent and let's say that you are not violent, you could end up as a ceo, as a surgeon, as a lawyer, even as a cleric actually, i ran a survey back in 2011 in which i looked at what was the most psychopathic profession in the uk. ceos came out at number one of course, funnily enough the media, radio and tv. >> whoa, kevin, can you explain why you put the media on that list? is that we are drawn to media because we are psychopaths or being in media makes us psychopathic? >> it's a good question but what
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you find actually is any kind of situation a professional situation where you've got an organizational structure, a power hierarchy, psychopaths do very well in that kind of situation where they can climb up the ladder, where they can use their ruthlessness and fearlessness and manipulation skills to further their career to the best of their advantage. >> so kevin, can you become a psychopath or do you have to be born a psychopath? >> there's a lot of evidence to suggest that there is a genetic component to psychopathy, but it also depends on the kinds of environmental stimuli that you get earlier in your childhood. and there are psychopathic genes i could put it but if they're only enlocked if you have an abusive or a violent childhood and the way i always look at this is, as an analogy, imagine you've got a book on a library
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shelf and our genetic code is the text within that book. if no one opens that book that text is going to lie dormant. that information isn't any use, isn't going to come to fruition. if somebody opens that book and reads it, in other words, that's the environmental trigger switching it on, then you're going to, then that information is going to come to the fore. >> okay, interesting stuff, kevin dutton thank you very much. >> pleasure to be here. what could be a popular take on the electoral college by one steve kornacki. in america today we're running out of a vital resource we need
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i am a sucker for traditions especially quirky traditions, the running of the bulls, the green jackets in the masters, the red wings where they throw octopus on the ice. when i grew up in massachusetts there's a group of old men who put on their bathing suits new year's day and jumping into the freezing cold atlantic ocean just because and i think it's great. in politics there's one quirky tradition that i really, really don't like. the electoral college. you know how it works. we don't have a national election for president, we have a bunch of individual state elections. wh win the right combination of states you can become president even if the majority of americans voted for the other. in 2008, bush was installed as president anyway thanks to 25 electoral votes from florida and five votes from the supreme court. it happened with benjamin
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harrison in 1888, hayes in 1786, john quincy adams in 1824 and might have happened in 1960 with john f. kennedy. real clear politics told the story this week and it's looking more and more possible if not likely that it's going to happen again this year. just look at the rcp average. mitt romney's pulled ahead slightly in the national horse race but running behind just about all of the most important swing states. we're supposed to be okay with the system because supposedly it protects the interest of states that would be ignored. do away with the electoral college and the candidates will camp out in the biggest media markets, ignore fly-over country and govern without the interest of any small states in mind. sorry but that argument is as joe biden might say, a bunch of stuff. for one thing, not many of the states that are part of the battleground are really that small. i mean, ohio? florida? north carolina? i think they'd get plenty of
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attention no matter what. what about, i don't know, nebraska or oklahoma or rhode island or wyoming or utah or -- well you get the idea. no one in the media or either campaign gives one lick about any of those small states right now. i don't buy for a minute that the candidates would spend all their time in new york and l.a. anyway if we just went with the popular vote. one small state and flyover country might not have that many people but there are a lot of small and mid sized states in flyover country, it would be incentive for the candidates to spend time in the heartland to show the heartland matters to them. instead of only going to ohio or colorado maybe they'll stop in montana and mississippi, too. after all, arbitrary state borders wouldn't matter. this is not an argument about legitimacy. bush was a legitimate president even though he lost the popular vote. going forward question change the rules and we should to reflect a very simple idea. whoever gets the most votes, the most real votes, not the most